It was 2012 and I, like the rest of the nation, was glued to my TV screen watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. I was captivated by this extravagant display, however I recall one scene particularly capturing my attention. This scene depicted a multicultural middle class family enjoying what seemed to be a typical Saturday evening. The family was headed by a tall, lean, dark skinned black man and a slim, fair skinned, blonde white woman. The family included two biracial children, a boy and a girl who both had light brown skin and loosely curled brown hair.
This was the first time that I recall seeing this family dynamic – white mother, black father, and mixed-race children – on a prominent mainstream platform. Fast forward eight years and the portrayal of multicultural (and usually middle class) families headed by black men and white women have become a mainstay in British advertising campaigns and on British television shows. You name the product, the British media has a multicultural family or interracial couple to sell it! And it should be noted that there is little variation in these images; the families/couples are almost always composed of conventionally attractive people and at least one member of the family – usually the mother or woman – is fully white.